Daily Archives: January 21, 2014

Petty Annoyances

Gamayun:

So this is what is triggering my stress and making OCD-habits run a bit more rampant for me than normal right now.

Originally posted on Witch's Journey:

I love people who insist that witches, or pagans…whatever term they want to use, are so much better than other people. That they are so much more mature. I would like to present evidence that witches are absolutely normal people with normal issues.

I live in an apartment. My mom and I split bills. We live on the third floor, which is great. The first floor apartment directly below us has a dog. The dog is constantly left alone, and it barks constantly. For upwards of 30 minutes at a time. I know, logically, that it really isn’t the dog’s fault that it’s being neglected and left alone constantly for hours at a time. It can’t help that it is being locked up for hours on end, with no human contact. So it barks, which I know is just it being lonely and calling out for attention. Still though, I…

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Depression, Bipolar and Guilt! Oh My!

I feel guilty. Very guilty. What do I feel guilty for? That’s easy…damn near everything. In the June 6, 2012 edition of Forbes magazine, contributor Alice G. Walton states: Anybody

The post Depression, Bipolar and Guilt! Oh My! appeared first on Depression and Bipolar Disorder:.

Easier Said, Then Done…

Easier Said, Then Done...

but we have to do it. We have to change.

for the better.

Let’s start today. Right now.


Writings from the Mother of Bipolar Bandit Part 2: Trying to Figure out What was Wrong with my Daughter

mom and me for blog

My daughter asked me to write about my feelings when she first started having difficulty until she was diagnosed. This blog focuses on her struggles before she was hospitalized and she was diagnosed.

Michelle was 13 -an A student, happy and getting involved in all the usual kid things. She started suffering from bouts of deep depression lasting 2 weeks. The depression was so severe she couldn’t even pick out her own clothes. She could not do her school work and missed weeks of school. Depression lifted and she would catch up on all 2 weeks of school work in two days.

She had always been so outgoing and interested in life and various activities. 

It was heart wrenching as a mother to not be able to help your child no matter how much help you sought. Many emotions ran through my days-I felt helpless and angry, sad and alone at times, but turned to God and HE always brought us through, not as quickly or as long as I would have liked. 

 After  a recurrence of deep depression we decided that since  her paternal grandmother had died and she had started her menstrual cycles we would seek  medical attention thinking it might be hormones or difficulties facing death. .

We visited a bunch of psychiatrists- one more unhelpful than the next. At first we just thought it was a fluke and the episode was behind us. After the next few times I knew something was really wrong. As a nurse, I sought information from various co workers and through books .(internet not around at the time.

I must interject here that if you do not like your doctor, find another one. Go to group meetings or anyplace you can find the best place locally to get information on certain doctors. I can not begin to tell you all the things psychiatrists told us over the years. I will share I was told I was controlling and didn’t give Michelle enough freedom when she was 17 after a doctor had  talked to her 5 minutes . Michelle had her own car so not sure how much more freedom he wanted me to give her.

I asked him but he did not have a reply… I made up my mind he would no longer be her doctor.

 Another told me I was the problem because I kept changing Drs.  I told that doctor that I had a brain and knew a quack from a good doctor and I would continue searching until I found help for my daughter, and since I didn’t value his opinion -so what he said would not bother me. 

 Thank God I didn’t listen to them and had enough nursing experience and intelligence to know they were not God and did not care as much about my child as I did and that status quo was not good enough.

I always asked nurses where I worked where my daughter was admitted who they would take their child to. Most nurses are most helpful when you share you are at wits end and are a nurse or caring parent. 

Another doctor leading a group of kids told them there was no God. They were all young and struggling and after telling as many people as I could who were entrusting their children to his care we again had to find  a new doctor. I shared with the doctor why and asked him who he thought he was to teach atheists beliefs to our children? Also told him we would be leaving . (The group folded as other parents were also very upset. )Wish I had had enough energy to pursue a law suit against him.

I am not sure what your religious beliefs are but I know with certainty that neither my daughter nor  I would be here if not for my strong belief in God and the power of prayer. 

There were many days I cried and read psalms for comfort. Others lifted me in prayer and for that I will always be grateful. Often I was asked how I could keep going and the only answer I have is the positive power of prayers  (mine and others)

Many people hold things in or are embarrassed by stigma- not me – I wanted to make things better for my daughter . I did lose friends and was often disappointed in people I thought were friends but other times I was given hope by people I had considered acquaintances. 

Will close for today. Gods blessings to you and yours. May God give you whatever it is you need most this day.


Fucking Dump

I fucking hate email sometimes. I just can't bear to write any more shit about how depressed, anxious, suicidal, miserable, etc I've been feeling. I just don't want to take the ol' emotional dump on someone. Except for maybe the psychologist... then again I think what I say to him when I express emotions just goes in one ear and out his ass. Well, that's what he's getting a big fucking serving of on Wednesday.

MLK JR Day.



I remember when this came out. And I remember Trayvon Martin. I remember Rodney King. I remember Anita Hill.

Blog for Mental Health 2014

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

Sometimes I want to give up on this blog.  I think to myself, what’s the point?  What difference am I making?  A blog about how I feel on good days, on bad days, on horrible days…who cares?  And what wisdom could I possibly pass on to anyone when I remain so confused about my own care? But, I occasionally receive private emails telling me that something I wrote really hit home for someone.  Suddenly they don’t feel as alone.  And bingo, there’s my purpose.  Because, sure, this blog isn’t for everyone.  There are millions of sites out there with more useful information, more grains of wisdom, more skillful wording than my worn out brain can articulate.  But sometimes someone gets me, and I get them, and that is a beautiful opportunity I don’t want to miss out on.  Plus, it’s really great to have a place to vent about stuff.  

A lot has happened since I first received my diagnosis in 2006.  I got worse, I got better, I got worse again. Over and over and over again. Right now I am yo-yoing from here to there and back at an alarming speed, but that’s just par for the course.  I don’t know if there will ever be a working combo when it comes to meds.  I don’t know if I will ever reach a point where I feel well and recovered more than 10% of the time.  But I sure do hope I keep the fight up.  And I hope you all will too.  

I decided to take the pledge this year via A Canvas of the Minds because I think it will help me remember how important this blog is.  Even if it’s just important to one person.  Even if that one person is me.  I am excited to start reading some of the other blogs that are taking part in this project.  There are so many of us!  And that is absolutely wonderful 🙂  

If you would like to participate, go to Blog for Mental Health 2014 for details. I hope you’ll join us!  


Pole Dancing

Tonight I will start my new SNRI and I am really hoping this medication works out. I had an insurance snafu with the medicine the psychiatrist wanted to put me on, so now delayed starting while new scripts called in, yadda yadda yadda. I suppose I should be grateful I have insurance but sometimes it is such a hassle. The last few days have been odd. I guess it’s more of a mixed episode leaning towards depression as I am feeling tired and not really wanting to do much. My appetite is off too. I’ve been logging my calories the last several days and noticing that I’m not eating very much. I was so pleased with the couple of interviews I’ve done regarding mental health and I am now in a holding pattern, waiting for responses from people. However I fear that I’ll feel overwhelmed once the responses do come in.

As I said, it’s an odd mood, dancing between the poles of depression and mania. Last week found me working on getting the house reorganized now that the holiday decorations are down, building a mental health network among other bloggers and various resources and then feeling a bit on edge at the quiet later in the day. The quiet to me is foreboding. I continue to monitor and track my moods, sleep, medications and triggers. I attempt to keep stress at bay but the feeling that something is bound to explode sits heavy in my heart. This is life with bipolar- uncertainty, unease, a lack of stability.

So I’m taking time tonight to face that quiet, to allow myself to believe in its calmness instead of fearing what it portends.

Image

credit:compfight.com

Filed under: Self Discovery, Wellness Warriors Tagged: antidepressant, bipolar disorder, depression, medication, Mental Health

Risk: Coming Out

Just like a game of Risk, coming out about your mental illness takes courage and planning. You sometimes rely on the strength of your allies, calculate the effects of stigma, and develop a strategy. Who to tell, how much to tell, when to talk.
Since my diagnosis, I have decided to be very open about my disorder. I make a conscious effort to share my experiences with others in the hope that someone might be inspired to share his or her own story. I remember talking to my therapist about friends, family, strangers, and future employers finding my blog and learning that I have bipolar and OCD. I was concerned that people would reject me or avoid me based on what they found out on my blog. I feared judgment.
I have been “out” online for about a year now, and my fears have not materialized. I have not been judged, rejected, or hurt because of my honesty. On the contrary, I have been overwhelmed with support and love. There is much less stigma than I thought there would be. Yes, stigma exists, and when you hear that “people with bipolar are just moody and acting out for attention,” it feels awful. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation.
When we make the decision to come out and share our stories, we are educating others. We are showing them what our lives look like. It is difficult and sometimes painful. There are aspects of my illness that I am not ready to share online. What is important is knowing that because it is your story, you are the editor. You share what you want to share. Just because you decided to share a part of your story does not make you obligated to share the entire thing.
If you have not yet dared to tell others about your mental health, I challenge you to reach out to one person this week. Tell them in your own way – in conversation, in writing, whatever makes the most sense to you. You don’t have to go all out and start a blog, but if you want to, go for it!
Have you come out? How did you do it?

Status Update

First of all I thank all of you who have been so supportive during this time of crisis.  I really appreciate all y’all.

Just a quick update, because I am finally home and exhausted.  Feet are up, trying to think of something for dinner more nutritious than frozen french fries.

Dad was transferred to the rehab wing of the nursing home this morning.  It was a very difficult thing to see, and a very difficult thing to be, for him.  There is such a marked difference in the level of care between the hospital, where they took amazing care of him, to the nursing home, where it took 20 minutes for the nurse to get him a snack after a low blood sugar event.  Luckily my mom had left a couple of energy bars on the bedside table, and luckily I was there to give him one.

On the upside, I had a long talk with the Occupational Therapist, who had excellent questions and listened intently.  Together we identified several key areas to work on in rehab, making realistic goals such as, that he should be able to feed himself unaided, to use an adaptive wheelchair, and hopefully to transfer himself to a chair or commode from the wheelchair.  I was happy with that.

As far as discharge expectations, it became increasingly clear from that conversation that home is not going to be an option.  That’s a very sad thought, and I don’t like to think it.

I had lunch with my mom and we discussed all these things, and thought about what the future might look like.  This will certainly be an evolving process.

In other news, I went to bed around midnight last night and got up, after very little sleep because I didn’t take my knock-out pills, at 5:30 in order to catch the doctor when she made rounds at the hospital.  I think I must have fallen asleep for the last hour, because I woke up to find my left knee stuck in a bent position, extremely painful if I tried to straighten it, which I couldn’t have anyway because I instantly knew what it was: a tear of my meniscus, which is the rim of cartilage that sits on top of your shinbone in your knee joint and keeps things from slipping around.  I knew this not because I am a doctor, but because it happened to me in the past, when I was like 24 years old and playing soccer–in other words, a sports injury.  So WTF???  I was, like, this can’t be happening to me.  I have to be at the hospital at 7 sharp.

Once again, my little dog Noga saved the day.  She has these rituals.  One of them is that she refuses to get out of bed (my bed, that is!) in the morning without a set quota of kisses and hugs.  So in order to get on with the morning somehow, I knelt on the bed and gave Noga her kisses and hugs.  Miraculously, the act of sitting on my heels opened up my knee joint enough to let the errant piece of cartilage pop back into its place.  Orthopedic appointment tomorrow.  Arthroscopic surgery in the future, just like the other knee, which has been swelling up again lately….sigh…..